Jamie Searle has been training with Aston Villa’s first-team, with the Birmingham Mail reporting that there is another talented goalkeeper turning heads behind the scenes at Bodymoor Heath.
While Dean Smith’s relegation-threatened side are short in quite a few areas of the pitch, most Premier League clubs could only wish for such an impressive array of shot-stoppers.
Pepe Reina, Tom Heaton, Orjan Nyland and Jed Steer have all stood between the sticks for Villa in the top flight this season alone, while 18-year-old Viljami Sinisalo, according to goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler, is one of the best of his age anywhere in Europe.
Sinisalo (below) is not the only teenage goalkeeper who has been handed a chance to prove himself alongside the likes of Jack Grealish, Mbwana Samatta and co in first-team training however.
The Birmingham Mail report that Searle has also been given the opportunity after impressing at youth team level in recent months.
Searle, who has made a pair of Premier League 2 appearances, moved to Aston Villa on a 12-month deal last August. And you would imagine that it is only a matter of time before he his handed fresh terms in the Midlands, with Smith and co obviously taking a shine to him.
The New Zealander may have to bide his time if he wants to play first-team football sooner rather than later but, in Smith, Villa have a coach who is famed for his trust in youth.